Photo credit – Kristine Heykants.
Shannon Gibney is an award-winning author of books of all kinds — from novels to anthologies to essays to picture books. She writes for adults, children, and everyone in-between .
The through-line in all her work is stories that may have previously gone untold. Sometimes these perspectives have remained hidden because the speakers have not had an outlet for their stories; other times, the stories carry darkness and fear that we prefer to look away from.
What God Is Honored Here: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color (University of Minnesota Press, October, 2019), exemplifies this approach, as does Gibney’s most recent novel, Dream Country (Dutton, 2018), which Kirkus describes as “a necessary reckoning of tensions within the African diaspora — an introduction to its brokenness and a place to start healing.”
If you are a high school English teacher or educator, you may want to check out Penguin Classroom’s new “Complementing the Classics” brochure, which pairs 12 “new classics” with 36 from the canon.
It is a resource that can help you switch up some of your assignments and standard texts, in order to engage students and ground their reading more solidly in the contemporary moment.
Scroll down to page 8 to find information on Dream Country, and how to use it as a “new classic” with your students.
Shannon’s books and writings have received many awards, and are taught in schools and communities around the country. She is a professor of English at Minneapolis College, where for over twelve years she has worked with refugees, ex-offenders, international and in-country immigrants, indigenous and communities of color, and students from all walks of life to tell their stories and achieve their academic and professional goals.
Shannon identifies as a transracial adoptee, and was adopted by white parents in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1975. She writes and speaks extensively about transracial adoption in her creative and scholarly work, and of the intersection of race, gender, class, family, power, and identity. This experience has informed all her work with and about historically and newly marginalized communities.
Recent keynotes include the “Keeping Our Faculty: Recruiting, Retaining, and Advancing American Indian and Faculty of Color” conference and the “Minnesota Writing and English” conference. She regularly teaches courses on writing craft at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, and has done workshops, readings, and residencies at schools ranging from Albion College, St. Catherine University, the University of Minnesota, Winona State University, Minneapolis Public Schools, Hennepin County Libraries, Ramsey County Libraries, and many others.